Franz Kafka (1883-1924) was one of the most important writers of the twentieth century. His major novels include The Trial, The Castle, and Amerika. Reiner Stach, born in 1951 in Saxony, is the author of the definitive biography of Kafka. The first two volumes, published by Princeton University Press, received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly ("superb"), Library Journal ("a monumental accomplishment"), Kirkus ("essential"), and Booklist ("masterful"). "I can't say enough about the liveliness and richness of Stach's book," Michael Dirda exclaimed in The Washington Post. "Every page feels excited, dynamic, utterly alive." The poet Michael Hofmann has won numerous prizes for his German translations.
"Kafka himself stays well enough afloat. Even when he fumbles, he
never falls wholly flat: at his worst, he is provocative yet
provisional. But at his best, he is hilarious and mordant, mired in
the impossibilities that he could neither live with nor without."
-- Becca Rothfeld - Bookforum
"This delightful collection features dozens of untitled fragments, false starts, and unfinished work by Kafka, found and chosen by biographer Stach...Opening sentences such as "I was allowed to set foot in a strange garden" and "The city resembles the sun," make the reader's pulse heighten with the thrill of entering the space of great literature. This offers precisely the kind of fare Kafka enthusiasts would hope for from the legendary writer's archives. " -- Publishers Weekly
"They have been translated by polyphonic, wizardly Michael Hofmann, who has made of Kafka a marvelous, often very humorous writer of eccentric English prose." -- Reading in Translation
"These marks make visible the fourth wall that is implicit in each work Kafka left in some way unfinished, and even in those whose publication he permitted. It's not only the characters, but Kafka himself who could find no way out. The Lost Writings helps us linger with him, in his impassable doorways." -- Nathan Goldman - The Baffler
"I think of a Kafka story as a perfect work of literary art, as approachable as it is strange, and as strange as it is approachable." -- Michael Hofmann
"Kafka is the greatest German writer of our time. Such poets as Rilke or such novelists as Thomas Mann are dwarfs or plaster saints in comparison to him." -- Vladimir Nabokov